Guyon Espiner on leaving Morning Report, why Pākehā feel ‘threatened by’ te reo on the airwaves Pākehā need to “toughen up and try” to speak te reo, says Guyon Espiner ahead of leaving after five years on Radio NZ’s Morning Report.

“It’s a bit rich to literally beat a language out of people, in some ways physically suppress a language, and then say ‘hey, you’re not even using it.’ That really reflects a lack of historical context.”

Kei konā katoa Guyon! Context and a willingness to empathise is the cornerstone of this kōrero.
Firstly, our history lessons need to include the systematic attempts at stamping out of Te Reo Māori and other aspects of the Māori culture. It wasn’t very long ago.
But even after that, if you can’t empathise, or imagine they were your grandparents being beaten for speaking their language, lying about their race to get into bars and clubs, and as a result grab firmly to whatever aspects of your heritage that you can, then I’m sure it’s hard to understand why many Māori and non-Māori are so passionate about the reo!
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